Today was Aaron's "graduation" from Young Fives. Young Fives is a wonderful program, but given what I know now, it may go down as a bad decision on my part. How was I to know how far he'd grow this year and the changes that lie school next year would make that will affect him? It was still a good year of learning for him. And BOY did he learn this year.
First Day of Young Fives
1. Aaron went from knowing his letters to READING. Now I don't mean sounding out words, like Noah did when he entered into Kindergarten. I mean full fledged, fluent reading of chapter books that Noah wasn't reading until mid year first grade. One of the MANY reasons I think he would have been fine to go into first grade next year instead of kindergarten.
2. I wish I had measured him at the beginning of this year because I think he's grown several inches. I can't believe how tall he's gotten this year. He will be out of place with begin a full head taller (or more) next year in kindergarten. I hope he doesn't get teased too badly about sticking out.
Last Day of Young Fives
3. Along with height, I didn't realize until I looked at the pictures how much he has thinned out. His chubby little baby face seems to be turning long and thin...one more way he looks just like his Daddy
4. At the beginning of the year he could not buckle his own seat belt, open the car door, unlock the front door of our house, or zip his own coat. He does all of these independently now.
5. His sensitivity issues, while still there, are indeed decreased by about a million. No longer does he cover his ears at loud noises. He had no issue with the fire drills at the end of the year. I guess the real test will come this year during the fireworks on the 4th. He hasn't made it through them once without crying and hiding yet. He still has a very hard time when there' s lots of chaos or craziness around him, which was one of the BIG problems with his classroom this year, but I do believe that having to deal with it helped us to talk with him about different situations and at least give us one more piece of information into that little mind of his.
6. One of the reasons I sent him to Young Fives at this school was to get some kind of special needs identified in relation to these sensitivity issues. Whether this is good or not, none ever was. When I talked to the OT, she said that even though they think something is there, they couldn't test him since he didn't need speech and only the kids who need speech receive any other special services. Sounds kind of odd to me. Another reason I SHOULD have put him in kindergarten this year.
7. His speech went from still needing translation at the beginning of the year to now even pronouncing R's much of the time clearly without reminders.
8. Sleep issues have gone away. He has always been a light sleeper, but has gone from difficulty going to sleep to going right to sleep and sleeping through the night until actual dawn.
9. Although he still wakes up with a very full pull up most mornings, he can go once in awhile staying dry. It's a start.
10. He played soccer and baseball this year. He did okay in both but I'm not quite sure either would be his "thing". We'll keep letting him try different things, just as we do for his brother.
11. His love and craziness for water continues. But it has definitely matured. He is not quite so RANDOM about his needs to be engulfed in water anymore. He is a little more discerning about when it is and is not appropriate to get completely soaked and is starting to get a little bit better about restraining himself when needed.
12. Aaron still repeats things MANY times and verifies periodically just to be sure the rules haven't changed. I like this part of him because he very rarely ever misbehaves in school, unless it is a genuine mistake. If the rules change, he clarifies them, and then it's okay. I worry a little about his teacher next year dealing with that, since I know her and how she relates to the kids. I hope she can find some patience to talk to him and appreciate it for what it is, like his teachers did this year.
13. He still loves to snuggle with me and even in the hottest weather likes to be bundled under blankets. It seems strange unless we remember ta ht this was the child who as a baby would not stay asleep unless he was swaddled so tight that he couldn't move.
As far as his year was concerned he had a great year. He learned so much and he loves school. Yes, the many concerns are weighing very heavily on my mind going into the summer. He reads so far ahead but his fine motor is still a bit behind. He needs school more than two or three days a week, which is what his kindergarten program is next year. I am losing LOTS of sleep over what to do about next year.
But for right now, we have three months ahead of us to play.
And that's exactly what I intend to do.